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Telstra inks 4G roaming deal for Hong Kong travelers

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Australian business travellers to Asia received a boost at the tail end of last week after telco giant Telstra announced the availability of 4G international roaming in Hong Kong courtesy of operator CSL.

The deal with CSL, which Telstra bought back in 2002, will give users access to the company’s 4G network at the same prices as 3G roaming users.

A brief glance at the current tariff shows Telstra charging AU$1.10 per minute for voice or video calls within Hong Kong, $1.31 to receive calls and 1.5c per kilobyte ($15.36/MB).

“This introduction means Telstra 4G customers visiting Hong Kong will experience improved service when using features such as video streaming, surfing the net or downloading large files on their mobile device wherever CSL has 4G coverage,” said Mike Wright, Telstra’s executive director of networks and access technologies.

He added that the CSL tie-up would be the first of several roaming announcements with local operators overseas.

For frequent business travelers abroad, Aussie regulator the ACMA is currently drafting a standard on international roaming designed to reduce bill shock by mandating that operators alert customers on call and data usage when they are traveling.

CSL customers in Hong Kong will also benefit from the deal of course, with roaming access to Telstra’s 4G network in major Australian city CBDs and some unspecified regional locations.

With plans for 1,000 shiny new base stations, Telstra claims this network will be able to reach two-thirds of the Australian population by mid-2013.

CSL likes to think of itself as something of a trailblazer in this space too, having signed the first ever international 4G roaming agreement when it and Korea’s SK Telecom inked a deal last June. ®

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